CALLED TO RENEW
September 25, 2022
To address the future of our Church, we have launched the Called to Renew campaign along with every Parish in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. St. Barnabas Church’s services and ministry programs serve hundreds, if not thousands of people each year—including you. However, with the pandemic our finances have suffered and there are a lot of deferred maintenance projects that our parish needs.
For example, one of our first priorities will be the repair of our Air Conditioner which is currently running at only 60% capacity. Another project will be the refurbishment of the tabernacle, the pews and flooring of the church. Our campaign goal is 1.5million of which 1.07million will go directly to our Parish needs.
Additionally, we will receive 100% of all funds raised over goal. Called to Renew will enable St. Barnabas Church to complete the vision set forth by past generations, while ensuring our Church’s presence in the lives of our future generations. We will be inviting you to pledge your contributions on October 8th and 9th. Please contact Sam or the Parish Office for any questions.
–Fr. Antony Gaspar (Pastor)
CHRIST IS RISEN!
April 17, 2022
My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Christ is risen! He is truly risen! Alleluia! This is the joyful Easter message that echoes through the whole Church, proclaiming Christ’s ultimate victory over sin and death. This is the message upon which we have built our lives and anchored our own hope of victory with Him. As we celebrate this solemn Easter season for 50-days, we joyfully give thanks to God for the many blessings bestowed on us as individuals and as a faith community. In the spirit of Easter faith and hope, I greet you and your families a most holy and blessed Easter Season!
Easter gives us the hope for a new life and a new beginning in our faith journey. We have faced many hardships and challenges in the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We were forced to remain at home and attended Mass via livestream for many months. But now, I am extremely happy to see you returning to church for in-person services. Seeing you face to face gives me tremendous joy and the opportunity to engage in friendly conversation with you. I missed interacting with you. I believe you would feel the same. Let us now embrace these priceless moments and cherish the signs of new life happening in our parish. I invite you to actively engage in reigniting the faith life of our parish.
The disciples of Jesus witnessed the brutal torture and crucifixion of their master. They were horrified, devastated, and dispirited. They were pushed to their utmost brokenness. But the risen Lord comes to them with this message: “Peace be with you” (Jn: 20:19-21). The disciples certainly regained their peace and hope in their risen Master. This is an invitation for all of us as well. We may be going through hopelessness, brokenness, and peaceless situation in our lives. But then, we turn to the risen Lord with faith and hope for healing and peace. Let us affirm this belief in Him. And my prayer is that you would constantly turn to Jesus asking Him to grant us the peace we all need in our lives.
As we pray for peace, let us also earnestly ask the Lord to bring peace in Ukraine and Russia. We particularly pray for those who have become refugees due to this horrible war. We can imagine the pain, agony, and the tremendous brokenness they are experiencing right now. Let us lift them up to our risen Lord and ask Him to watch over them, protect them, provide for their needs, and bring peace in their lives.
We welcome and rejoice with those who are being baptized, receive the First Holy Communion, and Confirmed in our parish during this Easter season. These brothers and sisters add to the richness of new life in our parish. Let us praise God for these individuals and pray that they will continue to follow Christ with their heart, soul, and mind.
Together with Fr. Bernard Santiago, Fr. Sebastian Venni, and the Parish Staff, I wish you a Blessed Easter!
With Prayers and Blessings,
–Rev. Dr. Antony Gaspar (Pastor)
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022!
January 1, 2022
My Dear Parishioners,
We begin the new year with the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. This is no liturgical accident, but the Church has placed this feast on this very first day of the year to help us reflect on the role of Mary in God’s plan for our salvation and seek her intercession for our faith life. The Church believes that she who beheld the face of the Savior invites us to hear the words of her Son Jesus, “Behold I make all things new!” (Rev. 21:5). Jesus alone can fulfill the desires, hopes, and dreams we have for this new year. And Mary is ever ready to help us obtaining those graces from her Son Jesus.
As we begin the year, we tend to look back at the events which played a major part in our lives and look forward to a year filled with hopes and promises. A right disposition to God would certainly carry us safely through this year. Mother Mary sets the tone for us with her Fiat, “let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Mary was the first disciple, the prototype, the symbol of the whole Church. We who are members of the Church, are invited to emulate her Yes to God’s will in our lives. An openness to God’s will, could spare us from disappointments and discouragements when our dreams may not come true the way we wanted.
Like Mary, let us open our hearts for Jesus and be filled with His abundant grace. May we seek the fullness of His grace by entering into a personal relationship with Him. St. Paul affirms it: “Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17).
Billy Graham’s prayer may be worth noting. He prays: O Lord God! We each have our hopes and expectations for the year that is ahead of us, but You alone know what it holds for us, and only You can give us the strength and the wisdom we will need to meet its challenges. So help us to place our hands into Yours, and to trust You and to seek Your will for our lives. In the midst of life’s uncertainties in the days ahead, assure us of the certainty of Your unchanging love. In the midst of life’s inevitable disappointments and heartaches, help us to turn to You for the stability and comfort. In the midst of life’s temptations and our stubborn self-will, help us to have the courage to do what is right in Your sight. And in the midst of our daily preoccupations and pursuits, open our eyes to the sorrows and injustices of our hurting world, and help us to respond with compassion and sacrifice to those who are lonely and in need. May our constant prayer be that of the ancient Psalmist: “Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end” (Psalm 119:33).
On behalf of our Parish Staff, Pastoral and Finance Councils, I wish you a blessed New Year 2022!
With New Year Blessings,
Rev. Dr. Antony J. Gaspar (Pastor)
A BLESSED CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU!
December 25, 2021
My Dear Parishioners,
A Blessed Christmas to all of you!
We come together at this time of year as family and friends to celebrate Christmas. This season provides us with many opportunities for fun and party. But as people of God the first thing we do is to reflect on the “reason for the season” namely Jesus Christ, our Lord. It is important that we welcome Him to our hearts and homes remembering that, as Christians, we celebrate Christmas not as a secular holiday, but as a proclamation of our faith: God so loved the world that He sent His only Son to save us. The eternal Word became flesh through Virgin Mary and dwelt among us.
The tendency of the secular world is to make Christmas more about presents, food, Santa Claus, and self-indulgence, and less about celebrating its true meaning. Therefore, we, as Catholics must be committed to professing our Faith in the Incarnation of Jesus and our salvation history. We must bear witness to this truth. We must evangelize this Gospel to the world.
Proclaiming the year of Jubilee on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of founding the Mission St. Gabriel Archangel, our Archbishop Jose Gomez has called us to engage in the evangelization work in the Archdiocese. In this spirit, may I propose that we are not ashamed to say “Merry Christmas” to everyone. We are not ashamed to send out “religious” Christmas cards. We are not ashamed to display the “Manger Scene” inside and outside of our homes and in our streets. We are not ashamed to give witness to Jesus in our daily lives in the midst of so many counter-testimonies. Let us boldly invite others to rejoice with us as we celebrate His birth!
Your preparation to celebrate Christmas could have involved putting up the tree, baking and cooking, going shopping, wrapping the gifts, decorating the house with lights, and many other things that went into making this occasion such a special family time of year. But, let us remember that the best way we can receive Him is in the Eucharist. I encourage all of you to take advantage of the many Masses we have on Sundays and weekdays. We have also resumed regular confessions on every Saturday from 3:30 – 4:30 pm. I invite you to come and receive God’s merciful love and forgiveness in this wonderful Sacrament. Come to Mass to be nourished and bring someone with you who perhaps has not been to Church for a while or just needs a ride! It is my hope to be able to greet you at one of our Masses.
I extend the love and greetings of each of us at St. Barnabas parish office to you and your families. Please know that you are in our prayers and thoughts in this holy season, and our wish is that your hearts may experience the joy of the presence of the newborn King. May the Virgin Mary and her Infant Son, Jesus, the King of Peace, fill your hearts with the choicest of blessings!
Merry Christmas to all of you!
With Christmas Blessings,
Rev. Dr. Antony J. Gaspar –Pastor
ALL SAINTS’ AND ALL SOULS’
We celebrate All Saints Day on Monday, November 1, 2021. This is one of the very important liturgical feasts in which we commemorate “the communion of saints.” While honoring all saints, we seek their intercession to obtain graces from God. Traditionally, this feast is preceded by the popular celebrations of Halloween. Although Halloween is known for activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, and donning costumes, let us be mindful that it is “the evening of All Saints Day,” an early anticipation of the day that followed, just like the Christmas Eve in anticipation of Christmas Day. So, All activities on Halloween should lead us to honoring and celebrating the communion of all saints.
We also celebrate All Souls Day on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. The commemoration of all the faithful departed is celebrated by the Church on the theological basis that the departed souls which are not perfectly cleansed from their sins, or have not fully atoned for past transgressions, are debarred from the Beatific Vision. But, the faithful on earth can help them by prayers, almsgivings, and especially by the sacrifice of the Mass. Let us pray and offer Mass for our loved ones asking the Lord to grant them the eternal life. And let us also pray for all the forgotten souls for their eternal life as well. For those of you who have lost your loved ones, particularly in recent times know that you are in my thoughts and prayers for your comfort and peace. May your loved ones by the mercy of God Rest in Peace!
Fr. Antony Gaspar (Pastor)
IMPORTANT COVID UPDATE!!!
July 16, 2021
Blessings to you! With the current increase of COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County, our Archdiocese of LA has decided to follow the L.A. County Health Department in requiring everyone to wear a mask indoors at our L.A. County parishes, offices and schools effective Saturday, July 17, 2021, at 11:59 pm, irrespective of vaccination status.
Therefore, may I request you to wear a face mask when you come inside the church, parish, school, and religious offices, and church facilities. This requirement will be in place until further notice. Thank you for your understanding and compliance. Stay safe!
Rev. Antony Gaspar -Pastor
June 15, 2021
My Dear Parishioners,
Blessings to you! I pray that you are safe and healthy. We have endured the challenging time of this pandemic and we praise and thank God for keeping us safe/helping us recover.
As restrictions are gradually being lifted by government leaders, our Archbishop Jose Gomez, has sent us a letter on June 12, 2021, stating that beginning June 19, 2021, he is lifting most of the restrictions placed on our parish life. He is also LIFTING THE DISPENSATION from attending Mass for those who are in good health. Here is the statement of the Archbishop:
“By this letter, effective June 19, 2021, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation in response to the coronavirus pandemic will be lifted for the Catholic faithful of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Those who have serious and legitimate reasons (e.g., illness, underlying health conditions that renders them susceptible to illness, significant fears of becoming ill, etc.,) are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation. In these cases, Pastors are to encourage the faithful to keep the Lord’s Day holy by reading the Gospels, praying with their families, or joining themselves to the sacrifice of the Mass by making an Act of Spiritual Communion.”
In light of this letter, may I welcome all parishioners who are not restricted by any health condition to return to church for Mass and other Sacraments, particularly for the Sunday Mass.
Please know that if you are not vaccinated yet, it is highly recommended that you wear a face mask for the safety of everyone. Some of you may not feel comfortable yet to celebrate Mass inside the church. Therefore, we will continue to have Mass under the tent until such time when it would not be necessary.
Beginning July 1, 2021, the Mass schedule will be as follows:
Saturday (Sunday vigil Mass) : 5:00 pm (Inside Church)
Sunday : 7:00 am (Inside Church)
8:00 am (Under Tent)
9:00 am (Inside Church & Under Tent)
11:00 am (Inside Church)
Monday-Saturday : 7:00 am (Inside Church)
Saturday, Confessions: 3:30-4:30 pm
We would also begin to allow in-person activities and use of parish facilities for various ministries in our parish. Kindly communicate with our parish office for your bookings.
Our parish office now welcomes in-person visits. In case if you are not vaccinated yet, it is recommended that you wear a face mask for the safety of everyone. Kindly visit our church website for further updates. I look forward to seeing you all. Welcome Home!
Rev. Dr. Antony Gaspar — Pastor
April 4, 2021
My Dear Parishioners,
Easter Blessings to you! We journeyed 40 days of Lent and tried our best to renew our spiritual life with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We meditated on the passion and crucifixion of Jesus particularly during the Holy Week. And, now we celebrate Easter which proclaims that our savior Jesus is risen from the dead. So, let our hearts join with our Holy Mother Church singing Alleluia! Alleluia!
These days, as I walk or drive by the parks and gardens, I notice many flower plants are blossoming, trees are budding with new leaves, and new plants are emerging from the ground. The trees and vegetation that seemed to be dead in the past few months are now coming back to be alive again. All these reminds us that we are in the season of Spiring which is the perfect time for the new life to emerge and withered plants to gain new strength. We could observe that these signs are happening in our Church as we celebrate Easter and begin this holy season.
Every year, our Church places Easter in the Spring to emphasize that Jesus offers us new life by His death and resurrection. Every one of us has embraced a new life in the risen Lord by renouncing our ungodly ways, and renewing our baptismal promises at the Easter Mass. We also witness the signs of new life in the Church by the Baptisms, Holy Communions, and Confirmations celebrated during the Easter vigil all over the world. We embraced these sings of new life in our parish as we welcomed our sisters and brothers at the Easter vigil through Baptism, Holy Communion, and Confirmation. In the coming weeks and months, we would also witness the students in our faith formation program receiving their First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Let us keep them in our hearts and pray for their continued growth in the faith.
The new life that is emerging and the renewed life that is gaining strength must be nurtured and nourished in order to sustain them for a long period of time. Just like we would water, weed, and manure the plants for their nourishment, growth, and bearing good fruits, so also the Church invites us to care for our souls by nourishing and sustaining them with our prayer life, receiving Jesus regularly at the Mass, and engaging in corporal works of mercy. Let us make efforts to pause from our busy life and cultivate habits that would nourish and nurture our souls. May the risen Lord bless all our forthcoming efforts to keep our faith life alive and active.
On behalf of Fr. Bernard Santiago, Parish and School Staff, Pastoral and Finance Councils, I wish you a very Blessed Easter!
With Easter Blessings,
Rev. Dr. Antony Gaspar — Pastor
2021: “YEAR OF ST. JOSEPH”
January 27, 2021
My Dear Parishioners,
Blessings to you! I pray and hope that you are safe and well. As you are aware, our Holy Father, Pope Francis has proclaimed the “Year of Saint Joseph” which began on December 8, 2020 and will last until December 8, 2021. This gives us opportunities to renew our spiritual life by revisiting, reflecting, and imitating the virtues of Saint Joseph which our Holy Father has exemplified in his apostolic letter Patris Corde (With a Father’s Heart). This document is available in our church website as well. I encourage you to read and reflect on it. To meaningfully observe the Year of Saint Joseph, we have planned the following activities, and I strongly encourage you to actively participate in them in the coming weeks and months.
- We will consecrate our parishioners to St. Joseph for this year at all Masses on February 7, 2021. Please make sure you and your family attend one of the Masses either in person or via live-stream in order take part in this consecration as a parish community.
- We will pray the prayer to Saint Joseph towards the end of all Masses beginning February 1, 2021. This will replace the current practice of praying for an end to Covid.
- We will have novena to St. Joseph every Tuesday after the 7:00 am Mass from Feb. 2021
- Beginning February 2021, we will have the spiritual enrichment talk on Saint Joseph on every First Tuesday of the month, concentrating on his various virtues.
- On March 19, 2021, we will be celebrating the Solemnity of St. Joseph. We have scheduled to have novena for three days from March 16– 18, and conclude with the feast day Mass on March 19. On this feast day, we would also ask you to bring your images of St. Joseph to be blessed at the end of the Mass.
- On May 1, 2021, we will celebrate feast of St. Joseph the Worker. Kindly expect an update in the coming weeks regarding activities for this feast day.
- On June 20, 2021, we will honor all fathers of our parish as we would celebrate Father’s day. Kindly expect an update with regards to activities for this day as well.
- Finally, on December 8, 2021, we have planned to conclude the Year of Saint Joseph with 9 days of novena, Solemn Mass, and a parish social gathering (if things will return to normalcy).
I pray and hope that you will make every effort to participate in these activities and be enriched with your spiritual life.
Rev. Dr. Antony Gaspar — Pastor
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!
January 1, 2021
My Dear Beloved Parishioners,
Happy New Year to you! As I began to date this letter as 2021, I felt in my heart a sense of joy to step into this new year. I trust that you may have similar sentiments as well. The year 2020 had been a long and challenging one for all of us with lock downs, restrictions, quarantines, loss of family members, jobs, businesses, and financial hardships due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We, as a church community, had to endure the season of Lent and Easter without people physically present in the church. All Sacraments such as Mass, baptisms, weddings, and funerals have been celebrated under the tent in the parking lot for many months, not to mention that the Advent and Christmas celebration also took place in the parking lot. We definitely look forward to breathing fresh air in 2021, and our prayer and hope is that our God will grant us this blessing as we step in to this new year.
We begin the year with the wonderful feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. This feast reminds us that our God, who in Jesus his eternal Son, became man to offer his life as the atoning sacrifice to save us. The Son that Mary bore is both God and Man: The Word who was God (John 1:1) and who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). This is why Mary is called not only as the mother of Christ, but also the Mother of God or Theotokos in Greek which means “God bearer.” The Church has rightly placed us under the protection of Mary, the Mother of God. As a Mother, she shelters us under her mantle with her motherly love. In my mother tongue Tamil, we have a saying: ‘Anyone would feed a hungry person, but a mother would feed with love and affection.’ As we begin this new year, I encourage you to place yourself and your family under the protection of our Blessed Mother who always leads us to her Son Jesus. I encourage you to faithfully attend Mass either in person or via livestream to nourish your soul. May you strengthen the habit of praying the Rosary daily.
Our Holy Father Pope Francis has proclaimed this year as the “Year of Saint Joseph.”
With his Apostolic Letter “Patris corde” (With a Father’s Heart), Pope Francis recalls the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To commemorate this occasion, the Holy Father has proclaimed a “Year of Saint Joseph” from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021. This is an invitation for all of us to reflect and appreciate the virtues of Saint Joseph, and imitate them for our faith life. We will be planning various activities for our parish to celebrate the Year of Saint Joseph. I encourage you to look forward to those activities and enthusiastically participate in them.
Together with the Pastoral and Finance councils, Fr. Bernard and I are very much appreciative of your commitment to our parish by your active participation in Mass, other spiritual activities, financial support, and tremendous volunteerism. We pray that this year will be for you a year of spiritual enrichment, peace, and prosperity. Happy 2021!
With New Year Blessings, Rev. Dr. Antony Gaspar (Pastor)
CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS TO YOU!
December 24, 2020
My Dear Parishioners,
Christmas Blessings to you! A couple of months ago, we were hoping to return to normalcy by this Christmas. But, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation has not improved and in fact it has gotten worse, placing us in a second stay at home order. I pray that Jesus who is born for us in the manger bless and protect you from this pandemic.
Although our physical church doors are closed, our coming together is restricted, our heart is never closed, our home is never restricted to welcome Jesus. Let us joyfully open our home to embrace Jesus who comes to us in His utter humility. Let our heart join with the multitude of heavenly hosts singing: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14).
The joy of Christmas reminds us that our God is not distant from us, rather he is “Emmanuel” one with us. He has come to accompany us as we navigate our life through joys and sorrows, success and failures, accomplishments and disappointments, and strengths and weakness. Above all, He has come to affirm the meaning and purpose of our existence, redeem us, and guide us towards heaven. He is the Eternal Light who dispels the darkness (John 1:5) from our lives. His coming is a great hope for a blessed life to all of us.
Our celebration of Christmas may consist of attending Christmas Mass either in person or via live stream, opening gifts, eating favorite food, cookies, sharing stories, playing games, and so on. All these are good and joyful ways to celebrate Christmas. However, I would like to remind all of us that when this celebration is over, let us not tempted to lock up Jesus until the next Christmas. Rather, let us walk with Jesus every day. May our life bear witness to the presence of Christ by our active participation on every Sunday Mass, daily Mass if possible, reading Scripture, habits of prayer life, teaching the faith to our children, engaging in various ministries in the parish, and works of charity etc… When we do these, the joy of Christmas will truly be in our hearts every day. Let us try to make this a reality in our lives.
There may be some of our beloved sisters and brothers struggling to celebrate Christmas with us due to illness, loss of loved ones, family break ups, financial hardships, and other brokenness. Please know that Jesus has come to be with you in this Christmas, to alleviate your pain and miseries. And, please be assured of my prayers and the prayers of our beloved St. Barnabas Parish community for your wellbeing.
In the name of Fr. Bernard Santiago, Parish Staff, and Pastoral and Finance councils, I wish all of you a MERRY CHRISTMAS!
With Christmas Blessings,
Rev. Dr. Antony Gaspar — Pastor
HAPPY ADVENT TO ALL OF YOU!
December 7, 2020
My dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Happy Advent to all of you! Fr. Bernard and I have been recovering well from the Covid-19. I am happy to inform you that we will resume our ministry from this Sunday, December 13, 2020. We appreciate all your prayers and support during this time of our recovery. Our Lord has been very gracious to us with His healing grace. And we pray that other brothers and sisters who are battling with this virus within our parish and in the larger community will have the healing grace as well. Let us continue to pray for them.
Maranatha! Come O Lord Jesus! This is the theme echoed in our liturgies these days as we are in the season of Advent. We are aware that Advent is the season of eager waiting for the coming of our Lord. Our preparation is twofold: to welcome Jesus at this Christmas (immediate) and at His second coming (Parousia). The Scripture readings and our Holy Mother Church invite us to be awake in our spiritual life and get ready our hearts to welcome Jesus in our midst. It has become a customary practice for many of us, if not for all of us, that we will be planning what kind of gifts to buy, decorations to make, new dresses to purchase, cookies to make, friends to invite, sending greeting cards, and so on. Although these are important and adds to the festivities of Christmas, as Catholics, we know that the true happiness consists in preparing our hearts to welcome Jesus. I encourage you to examine your heart in the light of Jesus’s commandments and the teachings of our Holy Mother Church and renew your heart in the light of the Gospel. This would help us to celebrate Jesus’ birth with true joy and a meaningful heart.
In order to help you with your spiritual renewal, we are offering confessions daily from December 14 to 23 from 8:00 am – 9:00 am, and on Saturdays from 9:00 am – 11:00 am. May I ask that you avail these opportunities and invite your loved ones to do the same. We continue to implement all safety precautions in our church premise. Make sure that you wear mask at all times and keep the social distancing when you approach the priests for your confession.
Further, we also have a nine-day novena Mass (Simbang Gabi) starting from December 15th until December 23rd, 2020. The Mass will be at 6:00 pm with a particular theme for reflection every day. These nine days are another spiritual opportunity to prepare our hearts to welcome Christ in our midst. I strongly encourage you to participate in this spiritual preparation as well. I wish you all a fruitful Advent season!
With Advent Blessings,
Rev. Antony Gaspar — Pastor
November 25, 2020
My Dear Parishioners,
Blessings to you! Thanksgiving celebration is here again. This year, it will certainly be a different one for us due to the social distancing guidelines and the limit to group gatherings during this season. For some of us, it may even be a difficult time as we may mourn the loss of loved ones, or lost our jobs, houses, business, or battling with illness particularly with Covid-19. I myself am in the process of recovery from the Covid-19 as I write this letter. Many of you have offered Masses, prayers, and words of encouragement for my recovery. I am grateful for your love and support. I can understand the emotions you may go through in your own circumstances in life at this time. The emotions of fear, frustration, uncertainty, confusion, and helplessness are all real. In the midst of pandemic and all these challenges, we may ask: To what shall we be thankful for?
I reflect on this question by sharing the age-old story of a professor who placed a half-filled water glass on the table and asked his students what they saw. Some said that they saw half a glass of water; others said that they saw half of an empty glass. Both of these perspectives are justified in their own merit. But our faith in God calls us to count the blessings even in the midst of challenges. This is to say that one is happy to see the water in the glass rather than being discouraged by seeing the empty part of it. I know it is easier to have said than done. But come to think of it: millions of people are hungry, homeless, jobless, without health care etc…, but we have food on our table, roof over our head, have access to health care etc… So, we could certainly be thankful to God for countless things we may overlook/ed in our lives. I invite you to reflect on your lives, count the blessings, and be thankful to God.
I am grateful to God for the gift of my faith, family, my vocation to priesthood, friends, education, and health. I am also thankful for those who challenged me in various ways which let me to become a better person.
I am certainly thankful to God for all of you. You have been very gracious to me and to Fr Bernard with your love, support, and words of encouragement. Thank you for allowing us to minister to you. Every one of you is a blessing to our parish. I encourage you to continue to be fruitful in your spiritual life. May you continue to love God, love your family, and love our parish community. Fr. Bernard and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!
Be positive! Be strong! and Trust in God!
With Gratitude and Blessings,
Rev. Dr. Antony Gaspar
November 23, 2020
My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Blessings to you! I wanted to inform you that on Nov 20, Friday late afternoon, I developed a mild fever, and went in to quarantine right away. The next day on Nov 21, Saturday, I took a swab Covid test. I received my test results the next day, on Nov 22, Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, the test results came positive. I am in communication with my doctor and he is monitoring my symptoms. I feel fine in general except the usual symptoms of fever, headache, and body pain. Fr. Bernard may possibly have been exposed as well but he does not have any symptoms. However, he has scheduled to take a Covid test. Meanwhile, he has quarantined himself as well. As you are aware, we the priests wash and sanitize our hands before distributing the Holy Communion. We also wear the face mask while distributing the Body of Christ. But if you think you are concerned about being exposed to us, particularly the daily Mass attendees who attended the Mass between November 18 to 21, I recommend that you get tested yourself. Out of precaution, our parish office staff are scheduling to take their test as well. We are taking the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe. Please know that our office is closed for this week.
We have scheduled visiting priests to celebrate Masses and other Sacraments until Fr. Bernard and I are cleared to engage in our parish ministry. Kindly keep us in your prayers, and stay safe!
Fr Antony Gaspar
>>> Watch Video Clip Announcement here: https://stbarnabaslb.org/2020/04/22/letter-from-our-pastor/
MOTHER MARY GROTTO
September 30, 2020
My Dear Parishioners,
Blessings to you! You may have noticed that a fence has been installed in front of the Marian Grotto between the Church and the Rectory/Parish Office. This was needed due to the recent desecration of the Marian statue and the persistent safety problem we encountered in recent times. While we pray for the well-being of the unfortunate brothers and sisters who cause these problems for us, we needed to secure this sacred place and provide a safe environment to our parishioners, neighbors and countless others who visit our grotto day and night every day. I am so inspired to witness the faith of the people who come here trusting in the powerful intercession of our Blessed Mother. Please continue to visit our grotto and avail the intercession of our Mother Mary for your personal and family spiritual enrichment. (We also had to board up the main Church doors facing Orange Avenue due to the constant late-night break-ins.)
We have placed two wooden boxes. One is for placing flowers, and the other is for placing candles. In case you wanted to offer intentions and donations, please walk up to the Parish Office entrance door and drop it off at the mail slot to the left of the railing. Our Office Staff will take care of your intentions.
If you see any suspicious activity, please call the Parish Office or Priests so they are aware of their safety.
— Fr. Antony Gaspar (Pastor)
CHURCH UPDATE: OUTDOOR MASSES
July 18, 2020
My Dear Parishioners,
Blessings to you! I pray that you and your loved ones are safe and protected during this time of ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. As you may be aware, Governor Gavin Newsom has issued updated directives on July 13 for 30 counties in California due to an increase in corona virus cases. Accordingly, the Los Angeles Public Health Office has directed that our parishes must discontinue indoor Masses and other liturgical services inside the church effective immediately. We received a letter from the Archdiocese asking us to follow this directive. Therefore, we have suspended celebrating Masses inside the church. However, we are allowed to continue celebrating Masses in our church grounds. So, we have been celebrating Mass in our church parking lot since this directive was sued. Due to the summer heat, we have revised the Mass times as follows:
Sunday Mass: 6:00 am, 7:00 am & 8:00 am (Church parking lot)
Weekday Mass (Mon-Sat): 7:00 am (Church parking lot)
(No Saturday evening Mass)
The time for the Live-Stream Mass remains the same: (Facebook & Youtube)
Sunday: 9:00 am
Weekday: 8:00 am
Confessions will be heard by appointment only. NO walk-ins. Please call the parish office to schedule an appointment. Kindly continue to follow all social distancing and safety protocol when you are in the parish premises.
Further, the Governor’s Directives include closures of parish offices. Therefore, our Parish Office is closed to the public until further notice, but it will continue to operate remotely. You may communicate with our parish office by phone, via e-mail, postal mail, and dropping off at the mail slot at the parish office in order to take care all of your needs. Our office staff will respond to your needs as quickly as possible. Please be patient with us as we try to do our best to serve you. Let us continue to pray for a quick end to this pandemic. Stay safe!
Fr. Antony Gaspar — Pastor
BARNABAS CHURCH RE-OPENING GUIDELINES
June 21, 2020 (Revised from previous posted on 6/10/20)
My Dear Parishioners,
Blessings to you! Our Archbishop Jose Gomez has permitted the churches in our Archdiocese to reopen for the public celebration of Mass beginning June 3, 2020. He asked every parish to prepare a safety plan according to the Archdiocese issued guidelines and get it approved from the Regional Bishop prior to reopening of our parish. Accordingly, I formed a health care committee which discussed extensively and finalized the safety plan. Bishop Marc Trudeau, our regional bishop, has approved our plan. Therefore, we are reopening our parish beginning this Wednesday June 3, 2020. The following members are in our parish Health Care Committee:
Sahlee Balajadia: MSN-PH, RN-BC, WCC, Nurse Manager. HCG Specialty Clinics (Committee Chair)
Dom Salas: LVN (Vice Chair)
Ann Marie Sacro: Manager- Life Science & Pharmaceutical Industry
Dr. Peggy Kalowes: Ph.D., RN, CNS, FAHA
Samanth Christi: Business Manager
Olivia Baylen: Office Manager
Rev. Fr. Bernard Santiago: Associate Pastor
Rev. Fr. Antony Gaspar: Pastor,
Although we are permitted to reopen the church, the state has mandated that we limit the attendees to 25% of building capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower. In our case, it will be 100 people, on a first come, first serve basis. Therefore, we could allow only 100 parishioners at a time to be present in the church for now until it would be revised otherwise. The daily Mass schedule remains the same at 8:00 am, but the week-end Mass schedule has been revised to allow enough time to disinfect the church after every Mass.
REVISED MASS SCHEDULE:
Saturday- 5:00 pm (no longer offering 7pm)
Sunday- 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 11:00 am and 5:00 pm
Daily Mass: Monday-Saturday – 8:00 am
Live-streaming of Mass: Sunday 9:00 am, Daily 8:00 am
First Friday Adoration: 8:30 am – 10:00 am (sit towards the front please)
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Novena: Wednesdays immediately after the 8:00 am Mass (if possible, sit at Tabernacle section only)
For those who wish to join us in celebrating the liturgical Mass in person, the following policies and procedures will be in effect to ensure the safety and well-being of our parishioners.
- If you are sick and exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, cold), or have had close contact with any individuals who have COVID-19, please stay home. This is in accordance with the state, local and Health Safety guidelines.
- For those who do not feel safe coming to Church yet, our Archbishop Jose Gomez has dispensed the faithful from the obligation of attending Mass on Sunday. Therefore, if you feel unsafe and identify yourself to be at risk because of an underlying health issue, or are of ages 65 and older, we strongly encourage, for your own health, to avoid attending public celebrations of the Mass at this time. Instead, you may choose to continue attending the live streaming of Mass. The schedules are published on our St. Barnabas Website and social media (Facebook, Instagram).
ENTRY/EXIT DOORS (See Map)
- Access to the church will only be through the two entrances near the altar facing Marron Avenue, and the entrance with the ramp facing the main parking lot. Please follow the signs and maintain social distancing to enter the church in an orderly manner.
- Exit from the church will be through the doors near the Vestibule facing Marron Avenue, the doors leading to the inside parking lot, and the doors on main entrance facing Orange Ave. The only exception is that those who are exclusively depend on using the ramp to enter the church will exit through the same door.
- In an emergency situation, ALL the doors will be used to exit the church.
- Doors will be open for entry 30 minutes prior to the start of each mass.
- Holy water container will be empty.
- According to the state, local and Health Safety guidelines, we are limited to 100 communicants for each mass schedule; this will be implemented by “First come, first serve basis.”
- If maximum occupancy of 100 communicants is reached, the doors will be closed and signs on the doors will state: “Maximum Occupancy of 100 has been reached. Please join us for the next available Mass.”
- The faithful are obliged to wear a face mask upon entering the church premise, during the celebration of the Mass, and until exiting the church. Volunteers are expected to do the same.
- Volunteers will be stationed at specified entrances and will screen parishioners for symptoms of fever, cough or cold.
- Volunteers are to maintain 6 feet social distancing when conducting brief surveys.
- Volunteers will help seat Parishioners as they walk in and fill up front pews first at designated and marked spots to respect social distancing guidelines. Please do not attempt to walk, sit, stand, or kneel at any non-designated location.
- Parishioners are encouraged to respond and sing while keeping their voice at a low volume.
- Procession of the gift will be suspended. There will be no passing of the offertory basket. Instead, two stationary baskets will be placed near the designated exits for donating your offerings.
- The sign of the peace is optional. If it is offered, there is to be no physical contact. A simple gesture such as a nod of the head or a non-touching hand gesture is recommended.
- During the distribution of communion, volunteers wearing mask will ensure six-foot distancing in the communion line using floor markings along the aisle. Parishioners will receive the Body of Christ “on hand,” and must step to the side to the marked position before consuming. Communion will not be given “on tongue”.
- Those who are with disabilities will remain at your seated places. The priest or a Eucharistic minister will bring you the Holy Communion.
- The volunteers will be directing the safe exit of the faithful at the conclusion of the Mass. Please maintain social distancing and avoid gathering inside and outside of the church vicinity.
DISINFECTING/SANITIZATION OF CHURCH
- Appropriate cleaning of high use areas within the church will be done before and after each service.
- The pews utilized by the assembly will be wiped down with disinfectant.
- Restroom facilities and door handles, push plates, and knobs will be sanitized after each service.
OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES:
- All hymnals and missalettes are removed from the pews and stored away until it is safe to place them again. The projector will be used to display the readings, liturgical responses, and prayers. The faithful are encouraged to bring their own missals or hymnals for use during the celebration of Mass. No materials will be left in the pews when the Mass is over.
- Families can sit together in the pews/rows. Please keep your children with you at all times.
- Live streaming of the daily Mass at 8:00 am, and the Sunday Mass at 9:00 am will continue.
- For people who do not wish to come to mass, Archbishop Jose Gomez has extended the dispensation until further notice.
- Parishioners who are 65 years and above are encouraged to stay home to minimize their risk.
- Bulletins are available online for download.
- The choir loft, cry room, all prayer rooms (memoriam room, Divine Mercy room), and the electronic candles at all shrines are suspended until further notice. We strongly discourage touching of statues at this time.
- The use of the Confessionals inside the church are suspended until further notice. UPDATE: 6/21/20: CONFESSIONS ARE AVAILABLE ON SATURDAYS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, FROM 2:30PM-4:30PM. MUST CALL PARISH OFFICE TO BOOK YOUR TIME SLOT, NO WALK-INS AT THIS TIME.
- From Monday to Saturday, the church will be open for Mass and private prayer from 7:30 am – 12:00 pm (NEW TIMES). The section on the Tabernacle side of the church will be designated for private prayer.
- On Sundays the church door will open 30 minutes prior to each Mass. And, we request you to exit the church when the Mass is concluded in order to allow us to disinfect the church and get ready for the next Mass.
- All gatherings in the church premises, including for Coffee and donuts are suspended until further notice.
- The Parish Office is still CLOSED. Phone calls allowed on Mon-Sat: 9am-4pm, and Sun: 9am-2pm. Otherwise all inquiries, please e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
These guidelines will be reviewed and updated as needed by our Health Care Committee, and will be made available to you on a timely manner. I take this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to this Committee for having diligently worked on preparing these guidelines for our parish.
Rev. Antony Gaspar – Pastor
May 27, 2020
My Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Blessings to you! We have been eagerly waiting to re-open our parish church. Our Archbishop, in his letter on May 26, has informed us that the parish church could begin to re-open for Masses beginning June 3, 2020. But we need to come up with a safety plan and get it approved from the Regional Bishop in accordance with the guidelines issued from our Archdiocese of LA. As I write this letter to you, we have already begun to work on a plan to put in place for our church. We hope to get it approved prior to Wednesday June 3, 2020 and thus reopen our parish for the public celebration of Mass.
Although we are allowed to re-open from June 3, I would like to inform you that we are instructed to have only 100 people or 25% of the capacity of our church whichever is less at a time for the Mass. Therefore, we are planning as to how we are going to implement this directive. Kindly look forward to receiving further information on this.
We are also allowed to celebrate other Sacraments such as confessions, baptisms, weddings, and quinceañeras with particular guidelines. We expect to finalize the procedures for these celebrations and make it available to you within a couple of days. Thank you for your patience. I look forward to seeing you all pretty soon. Continue to stay safe. May God bless you!
Rev. Dr. Antony Gaspar – Pastor
May 13, 2020
My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Blessings to you! I pray and hope that you are safe and well. Please know that Fr. Bernard and I continue to pray for your well-being.
I wanted to give you an update regarding the re-opening of our Church which all of us are eagerly waiting to take place. Our Archbishop Jose Gomez had a zoom meeting with all the parishes and schools today, May 13th, and informed us that the Los Angeles county might not lift the lockdown completely until the end of July 2020. The current pandemic situation still continues to remain dangerous, and we are not sure if it will resurface again when the lock down is lifted, and to what magnitude. Therefore, the Los Angeles county is approaching cautiously to consider allowing Churches to re-open at this time. In light of this, our Archbishop stated that protecting God’s people is his first priority. Since it is not clear when and in what stages the Los Angeles county would allow the Churches to reopen, our Archbishop has said that the Churches will continue to be closed for the public until further notice. I will bring to your attention if there are changes to these guidelines as soon as they are available. But for now, the Church will continue to remain closed until further notice. And, all Baptisms, First Holy Communion, and Confirmations are postponed until further notice. Regarding the Weddings and Quinceañeras, we will have an update from the Archbishop this coming week and I will keep you informed when it is available. Regarding the anointing of the sick, Fr. Bernard and I will continue to respond to all of your requests. However, I would recommend that if it is not a life-threatening emergency, please hold on until it is safe to engage in pastoral visits.
I understand that this extended lockdown may aggravate your anxiety. But let us trust that our Archbishop is doing what is best to protect all of us. I can assure you that he does not arrive at this decision lightly. In the meantime, please continue to join me and Fr. Bernard in our daily Mass, Rosary, and Adoration via live stream on our social media platforms. And most importantly, let us continue to pray that our Blessed Mother Mary will implore our God to put an end soon to this terrible pandemic. Please stay safe. May God bless you and your loved ones!
With Prayers and Blessings,
Rev. Dr. Antony Gaspar – Pastor
May 10, 2020
My Dear Beloved Mothers,
On this occasion of Mothers’ Day, we wanted to let you know how blessed we are to have you as our mother. Someone said that if we wanted to experience God’s love and see his face, we should look at our mother. This is so true because you channel God’s love for us, your children. You are the first one to love us and teach us how to love others. You sacrifice many things, including your own desires, careers, goals, and ambitions in order to care for our well-being. You nourish and nurture us in God’s word, Sacraments, and the faith life of the Church. You make sure that we grow up as wonderful children of God. You help and guide us to prepare for a meaningful career. Our hearts are filled with tremendous gratitude for you for being our wonderful mother.
As we celebrate mothers’ day, we truly wish to have you present in our parish church to honor you. But, since we could not do this, we offer our profound prayers for you. Our prayer is that the Lord will bless you with peace and good health; that, you will continue to be God’s instrument to guide our steps in the path of righteousness. And, most importantly, may the Lord keep you safe and protect you from the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. We also entrust you to our Blessed Mother Mary, whom we specially honor in this month of May. May our beloved virgin Mary shelter you under the mantle of her protection. Please be safe and enjoy your special day!
Rev. Dr. Antony Gaspar – Pastor
April 20, 2020
Dear Beloved Parishioners,
Easter Blessings to you! I pray that you are safe, healthy, and happy. As we continue to be home bound due to the Corona virus pandemic, let us keep our faith and trust in our Risen Lord, and pray for His intervention, protection, and an end to this crisis. Please continue to join me and Fr. Bernard in our daily Mass, Rosary, and Adoration via live stream in our social media platforms.
I would like to update you with the revised guidelines we have received from our Archbishop Jose Gomez on April 19, 2020. The following are the updates from our Archbishop until further notice. 1. Parish Churches, chapels, centers, and missions are to remain closed to the public until May 15, 2020, or until further notice.
2. Church Offices are to be closed to the public until May 15, 2020. So, our Parish Office, and Religious Education offices will continue to operate remotely. Our office staff will be more than happy to assist you via phone, email, and postal mails. If you prefer, you could also drop off your requests, envelops, and letters at the parish office mail slot.
3. MASS: The suspension of public celebration of Mass in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has been extended until May 15, 2020 (inclusive), or until further notice. So, we will continue to livestream our parish Mass and other activities. The following are the schedule:
Although you could not come to our parish church, I strongly encourage you to spiritually unite with your priests and the parish community by participating in the virtual Mass, particularly on Sundays in order to keep the Lord’s Day holy. In case you couldn’t participate in the virtual Mass, may I encourage you to read the readings and spend some time in prayer and reflection with your family. To make it easy for you, we have published a prayer format in our website, that would be helpful to use in the absence of attending the Mass. I hope you would avail of this opportunity to enrich your faith life.
4. CONFESSIONS: The regular schedule for confessions remain suspended until May 15, 2020, or until further notice. Unfortunately, the confessions could not be offered by telephone, electronic means, or by drive through options. The priests will respond to hear confessions only for someone in danger of death or extremely extraordinary situations. Since you could not confess your sins to a priest and get absolution at this time, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has reminded us the Church’s teaching in his Mass on March 20, 2020: “If you don’t find a priest to go to confession, speak to God. He’s your Father. Tell Him the truth: ‘Lord, I did this and this and this. Pardon me.’ Ask His forgiveness with all your heart with an act of contrition and, promise Him that your will go to confession as soon as possible when available. You will return to God’s grace immediately.” In an extra ordinary situation, a perfect act of contrition obtains the forgiveness of sins, both venial and mortal. (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 1452).
5. ANOINTING OF THE SICK: Fr. Bernard and I will continue to respond to your requests for anointing of the sick. However, if it is not a life-threatening situation, we recommend that you consider waiting until it is safe to engage in pastoral visits.
6. BAPTISMS, WEDDINGS, and QUINCEAÑERA are postponed until further notice.
7. FIRST COMMUNION and CONFIRMATION: The scheduled First Communion and Confirmation (May 9 & 16) will be postponed for a future date. Kindly expect a new date to be announced in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, let us continue to strengthen our spiritual bond by praying for one another, particularly by participating in the virtual Mass and prayers.
Although we are in lockdown, please know that our parish continues to operate. Some of our parish staff work from our parish office, others work from home. The religious education office continues to operate as well. Our utilities and other operating expenses continue to take place. But our revenue has diminished almost 70 percent. This is understandable given the current situation. May I request you to consider donating on-line, or dropping off, or mailing in your offertory envelopes. To sign up for online giving visit:
1. membership.faithdirect.net/CA794 (OR) call
2. You could also TEXT to donate: Open the text messaging option from your phone and text the word “ENROLL” to this number: 562-330-1646. You will receive a response and follow the very simple instruction.
Your generosity will help us to take care of our parish operations. We appreciate your support.
Fr. Bernard and I will continue to pray for your safety and protection. And, kindly keep us in your prayers as well.
With Easter Blessings,
Rev. Dr. Antony Gaspar – Pastor